Recently, I attended “The Event” in Ottawa (#theeventmpi). While there, I had a chance to connect with Margaret Binns, Director of Administrative Services with the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association under an innovative format of self-directed learning sessions called Braindates.
This format allowed attendees to come up with industry topics that others could join and discuss further in an appointment with the person who chose the topic.
Margaret presented two Braindates topics. I attended “How to Better Review Event Invoices”. With her permission, here is Margaret’s top five list where she spots errors and saves her organization from being overcharged:
- Pay special attention to the “based on consumption” items. i.e. Make a note of the number of soft drinks served vs how many are ultimately consumed, then compare it to the master bill. Do not rely on the venue to do the math for you.
- Ensure that the number of drink tickets distributed for your reception (if any), match the number on the bill.
- Compare the number of room nights billed to the rooming list submitted. Additional unauthorized pre- and post-nights could appear for legitimate attendees, instead of being billed on a “pay own” basis. And sometimes rooms for persons outside your group are inadvertently charged to your master account.
- Check the master bill for unauthorized restaurant and incidental charges.
- Communicate to the hotel the name of the person from your organization who has the authority to add/expense items to the master bill. It is advisable to limit the persons with this authority to one, or two max.
These are all doable follow-ups that don’t require an accounting degree.
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